- Popular Article2011Conserving the tiger needs putting people firstTimes of India, 4 March 2011
- Journal Article2011Patterns of spatiotemporal change in large mammal distribution and abundance in the southern Western Ghats, IndiaBiological Conservation 144: 1567-1576Download
PDF, 661 KB
Large mammals face high risks of anthropogenic extinction owing to their larger body mass and associated life history traits. Recent worldwide mammal declines have highlighted the conservation importance of effective assessments of trends in distribution and abundance of species. Yet reliable data depicting the nature and extent of changes in population parameters is sparse, primarily due to logistical problems in covering large areas and difficulties in obtaining reliable information at large spatial scales, particularly over time. We used key informant surveys to generate detection histories for 18 species of large mammals (body mass > 2 kg) at two points in time (present and 30 years ago) in the Southern subregion of the Western Ghats global biodiversity hotspot. Multiple-season occupancy models were used to assess temporal trends in occupancy, detectability and vital rates of extinction and colonization for each species. Our results show significant declines in distribution for large carnivores, the Asian elephant and endemic ungulates and primates. There is a significant decline in detectability for 16 species, which suggests a decline in their abundance. These patterns of change in distribution and abundance repeat in our assessments of spatial variation in occupancy dynamics between the three contiguous forest complexes and two human-dominated landscapes into which the southern Western Ghats has been fragmented. Extinction rates are highest in the human-dominated landscapes. Declines in abundance for several species suggest the presence of extinction debts, which may soon be repaid with imminent range contractions and subsequent species extinctions unless immediate remedial conservation measures are taken. Detection/non-detection surveys of key informants used in an occupancy modeling framework provide potential for rapid conservation status assessments of multiple species across large spatial scales over time.
- Poster2011Important Plants of the Nilgiri Rangessupported by Whitley Fund For NatureDownload
PDF, 18.4 MB
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wild Balsams,Impatiens, Nilgiri Wood Orchid, Calanthe Triplicata, Anaphalis Neelgheryana, Eulalia Phaeothrix, Disporum Leschenaulitanum, Cyathea milgiriensis, Hedyotis Verticillaris, Impatiens Levingei, Impatiens Scapiflora, Impatiens Acaulis, Nothapodytes Nimmoniana
- Report2011People and predators: Leopard diet and interactions with people in a tea plantation dominated landscape in the Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats.NCF Technical Report #18, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.Download
PDF, 3.77 MB
Leopards use a wide range of habitats from natural forests to human-dominated landscapes and conflicts sometimes arise from loss of livestock or attacks on people in interface areas. In a fragmented rainforest and plantation landscape in southern India, we examined diet of large carnivores (particularly leopards) using scat analysis with DNA-based identification of predator species, and relative abundance of prey species in different land-uses using transect surveys. Spatio-temporal patterns in conflict and attitudes of local people were analysed from conflict records with the Forest Department and questionnaire surveys in 28 plantation colonies and eight tribal settlements. Large carnivores predominantly (98.1%) consumed wild prey species and domestic prey species contributed <2% to overall prey biomass. Similarly, for leopards four wild prey species (Indian muntjac, Indian spotted chevrotain, sambar, and Indian porcupine) contributed 95.1% of prey biomass, with the rest being minor wild prey species (no livestock in identified scats). In the landscape, wild prey species persisted but varied in relative abundance by land-use type, with forest fragments supporting higher abundances of most species. ... In a 3-year period (2008 – 2010), 32 head of livestock (cow, buffalo, and goat) were reported by respondents as lost to carnivore depredation (economic loss averaging INR 9732 or ~USD 216 per incident). Over the same period, there were eight attacks on people, resulting in three fatalities (all children). Attitudes towards leopards were not affected by incidence of livestock depredation, but related instead to occurrence of attacks on people in the colony. Livestock depredation at a colony was significantly and positively related to livestock numbers, and interactively with distance from protected area (positive) and number of people (negative). To minimise conflicts, we suggest adoption of a combination of measures including better herding, improved livestock corrals, safety precautions for adults and children at night in estates, and proper waste management, besides protection of habitat remnants that sustain wild prey populations. These will help safeguard human life and reduce economic losses, thereby mitigating conflict and promoting human – leopard coexistence in such landscapes.
- Popular Article2011Remembering Charles Darwin.The Hindu Young World. 15th February.
Jeganathan, P. (2011). Remembering Charles Darwin. The Hindu Young World. 15th February.
- Poster2011Some Birds Of The Nilgirissupported by Whitley Fund For NatureDownload
PDF, 22.7 MB
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Emerald Dove, Hill Myna, Indian Pitta, Jerdon's Nightjar, The Great Hornbill, Grey Wagtail, Black Eagle, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Malabar Trogon
- Poster2011Endemic birds of the Western Ghatssupported by Whitley Fund for NatureDownload
PDF, 18.5 MB
Western Ghats, Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Rufous Babbler, White-bellied Shortwing, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Yellow-throated Bulbul, White-cheeked Barbed, Black-and-Orange Flycatcher, Malabar Grey Hornbill
- Popular Article2011வளங்குன்றா விவசாயமும் பல்லுயிர்ப் பாதுகாப்பும் (Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation)பூவுலகு. ஜூலை -ஆகஸ்ட் 2011 பக்கங்கள் 47-49/ Poovulagu. Jul-Aug, Pp 47-49.
வளங்குன்றா விவசாயமும் பல்லுயிர்ப் பாதுகாப்பும்.பூவுலகு. ஜூலை -ஆகஸ்ட் 2011 பக்கங்கள் 47-49. [Jeganathan, P. (2011). Valangundra Vivasayamum Pallyuir Pathugappum. Poovulagu. Jul-Aug, Pp 47-49.(Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation)]
- Popular Article2011One Earth,One Chance: Conserving a Connected WorldThe Hindu Magazine 5 June 2011, page 1 and 4.
World Environment Day on Sunday is an occasion to assess where we stand in making this planet a more liveable place for us and future generations. Wildlife scientists and conservation experts on the choices we can make today before it becomes too late... A consumer picking a product off a shelf has an immediate impact on distant species and natural ecosystems. And that link brings with it both an environmental peril and opportunity.
- Popular Article2011Death of two OsamasDeccan Herald Spectrum, 24 May 2011, page 4.Download
PDF, 351 KB
Maligning the elephant: Following the death of two elephants that went by the name Osama in the last five years, T R Shankar Raman wonders what the future holds for the human – elephant relationship. Will it remain a perception of elephants as objects of conflict seen through the coin of economics and the lens of science, when it could lead to co-existence if passed through the prism of humanity?
Available here: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/163574/archives.php
- Popular Article2011Elusive Malabar civetDeccan Herald Spectrum, 25 January 2011, page 4.Download
PDF, 190 KB
Have we really lost another mammal species from India? If not, what has become of the Malabar civet? Intrigued, Divya Mudappa sets out to look for the species in the Western Ghats along with NIAS researcher Nandini, only to find the Indian civet. The Malabar civet, she says, is rare in museum collections too, and even a bad photograph of a wild Malabar civet would be better than none at all.
Available here: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/131706/elusive-malabar-civet.html
- Popular Article2011வேழங்களை வாழவைக்க. (To save our Asiatic Elephants)துளிர். அக்டோபர் 2011. பக்கங்கள் 7-10. Thulir. Science monthly magazine for Kids. Pp 7-10.
- Poster2011Ecosystem Processessupported by Whitley Fund For NatureDownload
PDF, 24 MB
Rainforests, Flycatchers, Bats, Leopards, Mouse Deer, King Cobra, Owl, Butterflies, Hornbills, Macaques, Fruit Bats, Civets, Rodents, Beetles, Termites, Earthworms, Bacteria, Fungi
- Journal Article2011Agricultural intensification, rainfall patterns, and large waterbird breeding success in the extensively cultivated landscape of Uttar Pradesh, IndiaBiological Conservation 144: 3055-3063. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.09.012
In countries with high human populations, using agricultural areas as multifunctional systems to produce food for humans and retain wildlife may be an efficient conservation strategy for many species. Inclusion of natural habitat and species requirements on agricultural landscapes explicitly into planning processes are precluded by lack of information on drivers of species persistence. Climate change is an additional emerging complexity, and adaptation plans for agricultural landscapes are biased towards intensification to secure long-range food production. I examine the conservation potential of an agricultural landscape in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, north India where agricultural intensification and altered rainfall patterns are predicted to occur. I assess stressors affecting breeding success over eight years of two large waterbirds of conservation concern – Sarus Cranes and Black-necked Storks. Both species had high breeding success that improved with total rainfall and more wetlands in breeding territories. Agricultural and township expansions deteriorated territory quality and reduced breeding success. Sarus Crane populations were predicted to decline relatively rapidly if development activities continued to displace breeding pairs. Black-necked Storks appeared resilient over the long-term notwithstanding reduced breeding success in low-rainfall years. Waterbird nesting habitats (wetlands and trees) were retained in Uttar Pradesh as community lands by villages and by state government via legal provisions suggesting the utility of multiple conservation approaches. Incorporating species requirements explicitly, alongside traditional land use practices conducive for habitat conservation, into adaptation planning and conservation policy will be necessary to retain long-term multifunctionality of such agricultural landscapes.
- Journal Article2011Farmland foods: Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus prey items in an agricultural landscapeForktail 27: 98-100
- Popular Article2011A real race on an imaginary course?Down To Earth, 15 October 2011
- Popular Article2011Staying legal, staying reasonableDown To Earth, 15 November 2011
Full article accessible here
- Report2011Conserving a hornbill havenHNAP Report for 2011Download
PDF, 1.83 MB
2011 Report for the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program
- Report2011Framing ecologically sound policy on linear intrusions affecting wildlife habitats: Background paper for the National Board for Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Forest, India.
PDF available at iMinistry of Environment and Forest, India, website. Click here to download.
- Report2011Linking rural energy and nature conservation in a tribal village in Arunachal PradeshFinal Report submitted to DST, New Delhi, May 2011, 22 pp.